3 Reasons to Automate Business Processes in Your Organization

Since the days of the automaton, workers have been searching for ways to automate the manual business processes that steal time from more important jobs. Communicating with colleagues, manipulating spreadsheets, entering customer information into a CRM…these are all examples of time-consuming manual processes that can be done better and faster by someone (or something) other than you (no offense).

If your idea of fun is copying and pasting text all day then by all means, continue doing what you’re doing. Your competitors will love that. But we’ve got some thoughts on why you should at least consider ways to automate business processes in your organization. Here are a few.

Reason 1: To Err is Human. It’s Also Expensive.
Here’s a fun table. It’s a compilation of error rates by business task, as reported by studies over the last 30 years or so. In one study, (Edmundson, 1996) error rates for medication prescriptions were 1.6%. Error rates for expert typists ranged as high as 6%. In general, the human mechanical (i.e. by hand) error rate for data entry tasks is 0.5%. Seems small at first, but what if you’re entering order data from 100 online transactions into your CRM? Or, if you’re compiling stock performance for 100 different mutual funds from an online investment website? What if you’re changing prescription doses for 100 patients? That’s 5 errors that have the potential to cost you money and maybe lives. You can expect to make 5 errors per 100 records any time you’re manually changing information. The fun part is: You’ll never know which records or pieces of data will be wrong. Get yourself an automated solution that enters and changes data for you automatically, and you’ll never have to worry about data errors again.

Reason 2: Have Time to Kill? Neither Do We.
Here’s the great thing about never making an error: You don’t need to waste time fixing them. If you’re lucky enough to catch an error (see #1 above), and it’s a critical one, you’ll need to go back and do the job again. In some industries like health insurance, where the cost of a reprocessed claim is 4 times that of one that gets approved the first time, that rework time can be a killer.

Think of an automation software solution like a “digital employee” – someone who basically does the most unpleasant parts of your job for you so that you’re free to do other things. Digital Employees generally work faster than humans in most web or Windows applications, so more gets done faster without rework. Even if it DIDN’T work faster, you’d still be free to perform other tasks while your software solution did all the typing, copying, and pasting. Automation basically returns 100% of the time spent on manual unstructured processes back to you so that you can go serve customers, win business, or take a vacation.

Reason 3: It’s Easier Than You Think.
A good automation software solution can be installed and put to work inside of a few hours. Sure, there are some solutions out there that require coding or programming to operate, but the kind you’re looking for can be “taught” to perform tasks simply by clicking and dragging your mouse to objects on the screen. The software should then present you with a narrow list of actions that work with the object you’ve targeted. You shouldn’t have to scroll through 200 possible choices when all you need to do is click a “Submit” button.

Automation software solutions that actually work like “digital employees” use a series of steps (called a script) to perform a task. They work off of those scripts diligently because it’s what you have told them to do. And they do it flawlessly. If concerns over learning curves and installation times are preventing you from automating your workflows and business processes, choose the right solution and put those fears to rest.